More Thoughts On Care

Last October I wrote about care, and an occasion that my rather wonderful sub of the time had showed care in precisely the way I needed, and how her instinct to care was so perfect.

I wanted to show how capable she was of care by contrasting it with a time when a sub of mine showed how little she cared.

Me 4.10pm: I’m just feeling a bit sad, that’s all. You know me. I’ll snap out of it soon enough.
Her 4.11pm: Well I’m tired and hungover so this isn’t a good dynamic. I’m afraid I’ll have to leave you to it.

The lack of care in these messages is palpable. I’d expressed sadness, and was told to go and deal with it myself. As red flags go, that’s a pretty big one!

The thing that struck me most was that she didn’t even bother to fake it. It would’ve been a quicker message to write “Oh no, that’s awful. I’m here for you.” She had taken the longer path to say “So what?

There were things I should’ve taken from that message that I didn’t. In my need to care, I took it as her cry for help, that she was feeling so low she needed me. In truth that may have been the best thing she could’ve done for me in that moment. But I don’t think she was doing it deliberately (although I’d love to be wrong).

In hindsight, I think the thing I should’ve taken from that message was “I don’t care about you.

I keep that lesson with me in more recent relationships. If I feel I need my sub to show care in a way she isn’t at the moment, I simply say so. I always strive to ensure I say so in a constructive way, and hope that it is seen as such, though we all fail in our goals sometimes.

The real lesson is, if they don’t care anymore, don’t be angry or blameful, it’s just, as I’ve said before, that you failed to keep their interest and attention. Recognise it and try to move on, retaining if they will allow, a positive friendship.

Some might be angry at me posting this text exchange. But in truth, she’s wouldn’t be angry, just embarrassed at the exposure of her lack of care. The puncturing of her superficial image. I’ve not posted it for this reason, but to illustrate the difference between this girl, and the sub who supported me so perfectly last October.

© Charles Rochester 2016


Thoughts On Loyalty

Honesty is essential in D/s. Honesty means you tell the truth, hopefully because you know it’s the right thing to do, but certainly when you’re asked a direct question. Honesty doesn’t hide a painful truth.

When your other expresses a concern about someone or something, honesty means you face that concern with the truth of the situation, not try to prevaricate or conceal or turn the concern into an argument about something else, real or straw man.

But it’s not enough. What’s just as important is Loyalty. Loyalty means that the truth you tell won’t hurt your other. Loyalty means your behaviour doesn’t raise the concern in the first place.

If you’re loyal to your sub or Dom, then you behave in a way you know they wouldn’t object if they were watching. Loyalty means they’d be proud of you.

Loyalty means you don’t have to make excuses, you don’t erode your bond, you don’t have to apologise, you don’t have to pretend you didn’t know what you were doing was wrong when you get caught out. Loyalty means you don’t let your other down.

The behaviour of a sub reflects on her Dom and vice versa. In an exclusive bond, it’s important to ensure that you make each other proud, that you don’t allow the disrespect of others to continue. If you’re loyal then when someone tries to engage your sexual interest, you don’t allow it, unless your bond allows it. You don’t encourage it, and you don’t allow anyone to seduce you away from your bond with their attention.

But mostly your behaviour reflects on you. However much you might rage at another person for something, if your behaviour shows that you were disloyal, disrespectful and encouraged those who disrespected your relationship, that reflects on you.

A loyal other will always forgive, strive to rebuild that bond however weakened it’s become, because a good relationship is a good relationship, it just sometimes needs a little evolving, tweaking. Loyalty means you try, you run to your other when there are problems, not run from them increasing the space, increasing the erosion.

Ultimately, loyalty is about truth. If your connection has weakened, for whatever reason, the final disloyalty is to continue whatever is harming it (because you’ve chosen to) while trying to blame those who have strived to strengthen it, believing that’s what you want instead.

Cheap trivial attention (which is how it always starts) shouldn’t seduce a loyal sub from her Dom. Unless she’s not really a sub, and just another twitter attention seeker.


© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On Rights, Responsibilities And Privileges In D/s

In my early explorations of BDSM, I read a blog on submissive rights. In the comments section a man who claimed to be a Dominant declared that his sub – his slave – had one right and one only: The Right To Leave. I have no idea if he was just another online fantasist, we know they’re there! I hope he was, but I don’t doubt there are pairs out there who have that arrangement.

But even at that early stage in my journey that concept felt jarring. It set me thinking about not only the rights of submissives, but those of Dominants and the responsibilities that come with them, and ultimately the privileges that allows.


In writing this article, I am, as always, writing from my perspective, my instinct. But I’m also making a bunch of assumptions: Principally that Dominants care about their subs, want the best for them, that they cherish and nurture them. That they put their subs first. That they’re not users or abusers.

There are many different arrangements in D/s from online only, to bedroom only, to 24/7, up to TPE/master/slave. I believe they all share a baseline for mutual respect in an exclusive D/s relationship.

Being entirely judgemental, I believe that without these fundamental rights, responsibilities and privileges, then users and abusers they are.

Of course, any union may have negotiated or evolved many more rights, responsibilities and privileges as you’d expect.


Health And Wellbeing

In any trusted exchange of power there is a risk attached. Submissives privilege Dominants with a high degree of vulnerability, and trust us not to abuse that position.

The physical vulnerabilities are clearer and easier to define: they’re the limits and consents that exist, that have been negotiated directly, or that have been understood by putting in the time to understand. But even they have judgement calls within: Yes, you can spank, scratch, pull and bite. But precisely how hard is too hard?

Importantly, it’s not just the physical vulnerability of being bound, gagged and helpless in a way that enables a Dominant to do whatever he pleases, including abuse that vulnerability. There are emotional, psychological and social vulnerabilities, too.

Emotionally a sub (and a Dom) have a right not to have their emotions used to manipulate them. This is no different to any relationship in and out of bdsm, of course. An imbalance in emotional attachment must be recognised and both must keep an awareness of it, particularly during dispute or negotiation. Otherwise there’s a risk the threat of withdrawal might be used as leverage: “I’ll leave you unless…” As with so much, the responsibility for this awareness and management lays in the hands of the Dominant. Worse still is the phrase “If you were a proper sub you would…”. This is simple manipulation. It lacks any consideration. I’d go so far as to say any time a sub hears that phrase, she should get dressed, leave and not return.

It’s the psychological vulnerabilities that make aftercare so important. A sub has an absolute right to expect care, support and expressions of appreciation for her, for her submission. For gratitude. To be told how much she pleased her Dom. That she’s his good girl. It’s in that praise that many subs find their fulfilment. She has a right to receive proper care throughout her period of subdrop, a right to expect her Dom to check on her regularly, ensuring he is doing all he can to minimise her drop and reassure her.

Social wellbeing is crucial, too. A sub has a right to the privacy that we all value in kink, a discretion that avoids the social harm of exposure within their family, work and social groups, and the judgement and reputational harm that might result. This right doesn’t expire at the end of a relationship. It’s an enduring right that covers any and all aspects of the relationship during and after.

Right To Respect

A sub has a right to expect her limits and her person to be respected by her Dom. Sub, little or slave, she is giving herself to her Dom with trust. He mustn’t betray that trust.

Right Of Self Expression and Choice

If a sub cannot develop and explore her changing submission and desires then she will become unfulfilled. A sub must know that she has a safe space with her Dom to discuss, explore and develop those desires.

This needn’t mean that a Dom should put his own feelings and instincts aside and pursue his sub’s every whim – he has choice, too – but that he must listen and understand before deciding.

That right to growth, to a voice, to be heard, extends into every aspect of the relationship. A right to add and amend limits, to broaden or narrow consents, to express her feelings about any and all things. Her Dom is her guide and mentor, too, after all. The right to not express her desires is part and parcel of this voice. If she doesn’t wish to share just yet, then she mustn’t feel obliged, although the reasons behind the responsibility to communicate have to be considered.

Rights give a sub protection from her Dom. Whenever there is an exchange of power, whether it’s business and customer, government and citizens, or Dominant and submissive, the one without the power has the bulk of the rights.

For Her Dom To Act In Her Best Interests

A sub must never be given cause to doubt that her Dom has her best interests first and foremost.

Her Dom will believe he is the best person to protect, care for and guide her, or he ought to let her find someone better suited. She has a right to know that even when that protection might appear to be self-interested, acting in her interest to protect their bond is the goal.

For instance, there will be times when it appears he is being selfish, possessive or jealous. At those times and others, a sub must have confidence that even if she doesn’t have the information he has, or can’t see the problem he sees, he is acting to protect their bond.

There will be times when discipline is required. Again, at those times it’s crucial that she understands he is disciplining her because she has acted against her best interests, and trusts him to see that bigger picture.


The reason I wrote about rights first is because without ensuring those rights as a minimum set, a Dominant cannot meet one of his primary responsibilities: Protection for his sub – even from himself.

The bulk of responsibility of course, rests on the shoulders of the one with power, the Dominant. That doesn’t mean he necessarily has more responsibilities within the relationship, but that he must take responsibility within the relationship. When communication fails, or when he and his sub are not seeing eye-to-eye, when it is “six of one and half a dozen of the other”, when they can’t agree, he must accept responsibility to put things right. That doesn’t mean he has to accept blame for the situation, or apologise, but that it is his task to guide, to repair and to find a way forward.

With the best of intentions it’s impossible to get it right all the time. But if a Dom or a sub don’t strive to meet their responsibilities to each other, learning from the times that they fall short, then there is a lack of care at the centre of the relationship. I’d feel that is a red flag for both.


Happiness is the outcome of fulfilment. Fulfilment is the goal of any relationship, kink or otherwise. There’s also the recognition that some people aren’t capable of happiness, or aren’t happy unless they’re angry or have something to moan about (we all know someone like that!) There’s no problem with that route to fulfilment, or course, so long as you’re both comfortable with it.

How you take responsibility for each other’s fulfilment and happiness is between the two of you, but I’d advocate that as a minimum it should include ensuring the other responsibilities to each other are met…

To Have A Care For Feelings

The emotions and responses in D/s are intense for both sub and Dom, there will be days when either might need to hear a kind word or reassurance. It’s natural that they will turn to the person who’s words mean most to them. This most basic care takes only a moment and means so much.

To Be Cared For

The ways that you show care for each other will be unique to you. It’s shown in many changing ways every day. Care rarely shown, or shown in ways you can’t see, amounts to none at all. Often it’s the ways you show care and the recognition of how it’s shown by your partner and how they need it to be shown that are the foundation of success.

Good Conduct

What constitutes good conduct is, of course, something that is unique to each couple. But that good conduct is a vital element to a relationship. Breaching it leads to hurt. Behaving in a way that reflects badly on your Dom or sub, or suggests that they or your connection don’t deserve your consideration, is potentially fatal to a bond.

Whereas behaving with others outside the relationship in a manner that is respectful to the bond, that reflects well on each other, strengthens a bond. Behaving in a manner that your sub or Dom would be proud to see builds trust in their absence, and boosts your own self-esteem. To know that your manner, behaviour would make your sub or Dom proud, makes you proud of yourself. To do otherwise risks feeling that you’re letting them down.

To Communicate

Communication is crucial to any relationship. The challenge is to maintain it at the very times that the temptation is to clam up, run or argue. When problems arise, however difficult it is to talk about them, it’ll be harder by far to resolve them if you’re unable to talk freely.

This requires both of you to ensure there is a safe space to talk, a place without judgement, that when there is hurt or misunderstanding, you run to each other, not away.


Honesty is vital, without it no other communication can be relied upon to be based on truth. Dishonesty – even when it is a well intentioned white lie – only serves to draw into question everything else that is said. It is always ultimately more harmful than the truth it was intended to disguise.

Dishonesty is also insulting, suggesting that your partner is too stupid or blind to eventually learn the truth.

Other People and “Teaming”

Friends and family outside the partnership are important, and both people have a right to be friends with who they wish, neither have a right to tell the other they cannot be friends with someone. But that must be balanced by the responsibility to ensure they are not maintaining friendships that are harmful to their bond.

If someone outside their bond has created frictions, then both Dom and sub should have a care for how the other may feel about continuing that friendship. For a Dom to maintain friendships that unsettle his sub, makes her feel unsafe or uncomfortable can only be harmful. For a sub to maintain friendships that upset or displease her Dom should be no less a cause for concern.
Such friendships, not toxic in themselves or necessarily with toxic people, may be toxic to the bond. Who is more important. The Dom/sub, or the friend. Ultimatums shouldn’t be issued, but shouldn’t need to be. If either were to pursue such friendships, the other should consider if the bond is important after all.

Both of you should be able to rely on the other to strive to understand and (for want of a much less childish term) take each other’s side when one of you is unhappy or has concerns about a third party. I, for instance, have ceased friendships because I know they were with people my sub mistrusted or disliked. She didn’t ask me to, she didn’t have to. We are a team, and our bond should be more important. Others shouldn’t even come close.

The sense of betrayal when a sub or Dom takes the side of someone outside the relationship can be very harmful to trust and he bond between you.

To Nurture And Build Trust And The Bond

People talk of trust being a bubble. One prick and it’s gone. When it bursts, that’s it.

But it’s also like a well. You can draw water from the well over and over, relying on that trust to be there. But why would you force that? Because eventually you’ll empty the well, it’ll run dry. You have to keep filling the well, too. Not because there is mistrust, but to prevent any question of mistrust arising – keeping that well of trust sparkling and fresh. This is nurturing trust and the bond. How you do that is dependent on circumstances, of course, not only of your relationship but of the specific situation.

You will know each other well enough (and better each day) to know how to keep that well topped up, how not to necessarily drain it.


How you privilege each other depends entirely on you. But there must be privileges, or there’s nothing special between you.

There are the sacred acts of submission, but what they are for you depends on what fulfils you and what you keep just for each other: tasks, the administration of correction and discipline, sexual engagement (unless agreed beforehand), terms of address, enjoying the routines and rituals of their connection, … The choices are endless.

To Close

I believe that you cannot have a sustainable and healthy relationship (D/s or otherwise) if you don’t have a care for these minimum rights and responsibilities. Some of these rights are enduring, and do not end with the relationship. For instance the protection from social harm: all those private pictures should always remain private!

Because of the intensity of the dynamic, the end can be disorientating and emotionally devastating. In that event, you both have a responsibility to make the separation – however bitter and angry it becomes – as bearable as possible by not raising the spectre of betraying your enduring responsibilities to each other.

Most pairings will have other rights, expect other responsibilities to be respected. That will be how you show care in your relationships. Communication is, as always, the key.

I’m aware many will disagree, and I encourage you to comment.

© Charles Rochester 2016


Thoughts On Happy

Happy is important. But happy isn’t about a destination. Happy is about a journey. It’s about how you feel right now. What you want in your life is overall for there to be more happy than not happy. More times that you feel happy than that you don’t.

Nobody is ever going to get to a stage where they feel happy all the time. And if you did, you wouldn’t recognise that you were happy because happy would become normal. So we all need those times that are the contrast to happy. That’s nothing to feel bad about. We all need those times when things didn’t quite work out the way we expected them to, wanted them to. It’s okay, it’s not a disaster, it’s just today. And it’ll help you appreciate the happy when it’s there.

So what do we do to be happy? We find out what or who it is that fulfils us, makes us feel good. And we do our best to get more of them. And we look at the things that don’t make us feel good, and do our best to have less of that.

If I can be horribly patronising for a moment, the things that make us feel less good are all modern life things: the stresses, the busy, the running around, the having no time to do the things you know make you feel good.

Not being happy is really just the absence of the things that make you happy. So to be happy, what you need is to make sure that as often as possible you get to indulge those things.

In D/s we get lucky, because one of the things we can indulge in that make us happy is subspace. She can put herself in the hands of her Dom, and he can take away all those stresses and strains of the day to day slog. You could spend your time driving from one place to another, and there’s a block on the wall of stress. You can be at work and idiot colleagues can put another block on that wall. I love my kids, but bloody hell, they’re another block on that wall of stress.

So you find yourself a great Dom, one you can trust with the deepest parts of you, and you put yourself in his hands as often as he’ll take you. And you let him knock that wall down, take those blocks away and turn them to dust, cast them to the wind. So when he’s done, you have none of that stress, none of those worries. He’s taken it out of you. All that driving, all those idiots, all the day-to-day worries. Gone.

If you can do that, if you can find someone who you trust, who cares for you, who will take those things away from you, and if the way he takes down his wall of stress is by taking your worries away, and watching the transformation of his sub as the pure, unencumbered essence of her emerges from under those stresses, then between you is a thing of beauty to cherish.

But the longer you go without it, the more weighed down by the world you’ll be. The more unsure you’ll feel, the more worried you’ll feel, the less confident you’ll feel. The less like you you’ll feel.

And then will come the moment you both save each other again.

Be happy. Find what makes you happy, and get it as often as you can, from the person who knows how to give you the happiness the way you need.

© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On The Commitment To Care

One of my heroes is Muhammad Ali. Not for his boxing, or his self-sacrificial stand for his principles, not for his famous quote about “Impossible” (although that is good). It was for his answer when Michael Parkinson asked him what he’d have been if he hadn’t been a boxer.

“I don’t know what I’d have been, but I’d have been the best at it. If I was a garbage man, I’d have emptied more garbage cans than anyone else”

It’s about commitment to your chosen path. A commitment that puts the hyperbolic “I’ve given it 1000%, Simon” of X-Factor contestants in the stupid box where it belongs. You set yourself a goal and never stint on achieving it. Every decision you make supports that goal.

If I may blow my own trumpet for a moment (none of you are patients, so I hope you’ll forgive the arrogance), I’m great at my job. Not because of a natural talent but because of the effort. I didn’t just learn what I had to learn, I read around my subject, found out so much context just in case I might need it. The difference between compression injuries from bad landings with a circular parachute and a rectangular parachute, for instance.

Only when I leave the clinic for the last time will I know whether all that extra information is useful. (Okay, the parachutes is a bad example that, unbelievably, came up 14 years ago.) I’m always asking questions, always trying to find out new knowledge that I’ll probably never use. Because one day, I just might.

It’s the same with being a Dominant. I do my best to know everything I can to get the best understanding I can of my sub’s life, of her mind. Maybe the context of what she did last week or last month will be useful in supporting and caring for her, maybe not. I’ll only know later, but if I don’t find out that context, then how am I making an effort to understand her?

If a girl is giving her submission, she should expect no less than all the time and effort you can give. If she isn’t worth the time and effort, then let her find someone who recognises that she is. There may be times when she feels monitored, or under scrutiny. It’s your responsibility as a Dom to recognise why that might be, and act accordingly. There’s a fine line between paying attention and smothering, take care not to cross it!

© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On “Good”

What means someone’s being “Good”?

As is true for many in D/s, telling The Girl she’s a Good Girl, is very important to me. But what is that? What constitutes “being good”? And how does it relate to being a “Bad Girl”?

I know many subs would play at being a bad girl, or be treated by her Dom as if she’s been a bad girl for play. Role playing at being a Bad Girl for her Dom’s enjoyment, or role playing the receipt of punishment for her enjoyment, is in itself being good. But a sub should never be honestly treated by her Dom as if she’s been a Bad Girl if she hasn’t, because those lines shouldn’t be blurred. If she’s been Good she shouldn’t be punished, or you’re positively encouraging her not to be good. Of course, what constitutes punishment and reward differs depending on where you sit on the BDSM spectrum, as does the language you use to frame your behaviour.

But what does “Bad” and “Good” mean, then?

I’ve said before (very proudly, I might add) that The Girl has never done anything that I’ve had to discipline her for. (Yes, she did her taxes on time. Phew!) Bad leads to Discipline. For me it’s far easier to define Bad than Good. “Bad” would be something that isn’t true to herself, is done with hurtful intent, weakens the bond between us, or is against her best interests.

It doesn’t follow that everything “UnBad” is “Good”. There’s all those things she might do that lead to correction, for example. These things aren’t “Bad”, she and I are not harmed by them, they are rules we have that are part of an ongoing game that resets every time she receives the correction she’s earned. In part, they exist to facilitate that correction, to give a pretext to her submitting to my Dominance and the entitlement to correct her that she gives me as part of her submission.

But when is she a “Good Girl”?

There’s so many ways she’s a Good Girl. I’m going to stick to generalities, though…

Everything that leads me to tell her she’s a good girl is linked in some way to her submission to me. Either submitting physically, her training, her enabling me to care for her, her obediently following an instruction, or doing something without instruction because she knows it’ll please me.

Importantly, after she’s accepted correction (or discipline, had that ever been necessary), she’s a Good Girl. Whatever has happened before, the slate is wiped clean. Anything I haven’t attended to is my responsibility. Nothing can be brought up later, nothing can be left unaddressed, nothing can be left in the freezer. In this way she always knows where she stands, need never worry that I’ll drag something up at a later date.

Like the things that earn correction, without the specifics of “us”, many of the “Good” might seem trivial to others. But once the context is added, once the intent is understood, they become important. They bring us closer; by deepening her submission, by strengthening the rituals and understanding of needs that have evolved between us, and by ensuring that I can take care of her. Crucially, we both gain fulfilment from them: It means I can tell her she’s a “Good Girl” something that makes my day, and means she knows she’s pleased me, which makes hers.

Just as there’s a “Bad” that fills a different place – a “lower” place – than correction, there’s a level of “Good” that exceeds our existing context and inhabits a higher plain. Far less rare than the never-happened-Discipline, these are her achievements beyond the completion of tasks, they earn more tangible rewards, just as the “Bad” would earn tangible Discipline (if it ever happened). These are the things that make me burst with pride (like last Saturday). Achievements in her life, completion of training, or overcoming a boundary of trepidation to please me, for instance.

She knows that the greater the achievement, the more pride I feel and the more pleased I am. I know that would be reward enough for her. But these things earn rewards beyond my praise. Not because she needs them or asks for them, but because I need to show her.

© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On Triggers

We all have them.

Triggers are an irrational over-reaction in the present to a trivial reminder of something in the past. A reminder that holds an echo of a dramatic or painful event, or a fear. Triggers aren’t rational, even if their origin is known and understood. Importantly, they can be good or bad.

Two or three years ago I was walking along an unfamiliar high street and, on catching the rare and distinctive whiff of a paraffin heater’s exhaust, was overwhelmingly taken back to my Grandparents’ kitchen in the 70s and 80s. The last place I smelled that smell and that I associate with wonderful childhood memories.

Triggers can be anything; a word, a song, an aroma, an object or an event. An old liaison of mine had a clear trigger of Hugo Boss aftershave. If someone walked past wearing it she’d be a quivering mess for a few hours (and obviously not in a good way). While most of us would be repulsed by Hugo Boss aftershave just as a matter of course, this was a deep emotional distress caused by an event in her past. There was nothing to do but to let her work through it, even when it meant she had to sit as far away as the room would allow until she could come to me, knowing I was there, caring, waiting for when she was ready.

The first time it happened around me I knew what the historic event was, but had no idea about the aroma trigger, or was even aware that she had been triggered to the event I knew about. It was alarming, I was being shut out, I didn’t know why, I felt blamed, I felt I’d done something wrong. It was hours before she could tell me what had happened.

The important thing to remember when someone you care about is triggered is that the nature of triggers are that they aren’t about what’s happening now. They’re not about what you did. Just that something now holds a mirror up to something in the past and triggers the feelings you have about that. There’s no blame or malice attached.

But triggers happen and it’ll seem that way. When they happen, we need to be supportive of each other. Triggers can come between people through a lack of understanding. But they aren’t things that should get between you, they’re things you understand about each other and support each other over. Crucially they can be subverted, turned on their head and used as opportunities to draw closer.

You talk normally. You reassure, even though you both know there’s nothing in the present that needs reassurance. You make it a joint experience, and in doing so you show you’re the safe place, the place where the trigger can’t hurt them.

We need to be sympathetic, supportive, that’s all. Give what needs to be given. You’ll get back far more.

© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On The Sacred Acts Of Submission

The usual disclaimer: I’m giving my opinion, discussing my instinct. I’m not didactically telling anyone else how to do things, how they should do things, or saying it’s “The Right Way”.  Just that it’s “My Way.”

There’s a visceral sensation I feel when The Girl does certain things. My knowledge of physiology tells me it’s a massive surge of adrenalin, endorphins and oxytocin. But the sensation is overwhelming, deep, primal. A welling up inside me of everything I feel for her along with an acute heightening of the need to care, to keep her safe, to tell her how important she is.

I feel it when she’s chosen to express her submission in that moment in one of the ways I can only describe as sacred.

She knows I want them from her, knows they will be accepted with deep gratitude, love for them. But she does them because she needs to for her and because of the fulfilment she gets from them, and from pleasing me so deeply. But not ever because I’ve asked her to. Because I’ve never demanded them.

As ‘Sacred Acts’ they exist solely between us. If she were to discuss doing these for someone else, I would consider that faithless. If she could contemplate doing them for someone else, then I’d feel our bond would be broken. Perhaps irreparably. After all, as her Dom, I couldn’t discuss another girl kneeling for me, or wearing my collar. Even in theory. If she could discuss kneeling to someone else, then she wouldn’t see our connection in the way she does. Lucky for me she wouldn’t.

If they make me feel so good, why don’t I instruct her to do them? Simple: If they were on demand, or done as a routine they would lose their power. They invoke that powerful feeling in me, that connection between us, precisely because they are her choice, her need. Just as her submission is.


The Girl and I use titles for each other, to the degree that they are our names as much as those in our passports. On the TL we use a set that we reserve for each other, but they are not the titles we use in private. Neither of us asked to be called by those titles. We both earned them. We both wanted to call the other by them. If I’d demanded that I be called “My Lord,” [No, it’s not that, but I’m not saying what it is] then calling me that would be an act of obedience, an expectation. The Girl calls me what she does because that’s how she feels. That’s why it means something.

Wearing Her Day Collar

When The Girl accepted her Day Collar, I made it clear she was never obliged to wear it. That she should wear it only when she chose, for whatever reason she had at the time. She knows it pleases me when she does, and that it was carefully chosen to be one she could wear even around vanilla friends and family without being conspicuous. Even then, it’s so she can feel the safety and security of our bond. Feel my care at any time.

Again, if she were obliged to wear it all the time then the wearing of it would be an act of obedience. By letting her choose, and ensuring she doesn’t wear it all the time, she is more aware of it around her neck when she does. The wearing retains its significance beyond the initial acceptance. Because it’s with that same acceptance that she puts it on each time. Having it on never becomes mundane or routine.

Kneeling In Submission

Of course, I tell her to kneel for some reasons, but the act of kneeling in submission as she does in a recent Sinful Sunday post is entirely her choice to make, her way of expressing to me a feeling, a need in her to submit to me. A clear, unequivocal restatement, reassurance and reinforcement of our connection and dynamic.

I’m very lucky and very pleased that she kneels for me as often as she does. She understands that whatever else is happening, even if it’s something I’ve instructed, everything stops to allow her to kneel, her desire to do so for me takes precedence. There’s no more powerful way to demonstrate her submission that doing it on her own compulsion, no more powerful way to confirm my acceptance of that submission. These are moments I find it increasingly close to impossible to end.

By ensuring these Sacred Acts are her prerogative, hers to give at her discretion, I know that when she does give them they mean everything they’re supposed to mean. By never demanding them, she has an opportunity to show me her submission is as deep, as powerful and as current as it ever has been. She can show me she feels it now, not just from an inertia. That the need to wear my collar and kneel to me is as strong as ever, and comes from her.


© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On Routine And Ritual

We all have routines in our lives. We get up, we go to work, we collect the kids from school, we eat, we do whatever we do to relax and then go to bed.

Some routines are tighter. We say good morning when we wake, goodnight before bed…

At some point a routine crosses a threshold and through exact repetition becomes something else, something that is done with a precision. A Ritual.

The Ritual is an important element of a D/s relationship. Even if it is as simple as a “call and response” – I say this, you answer with that. It’s an expression of connection that remains under every circumstance, even if a pair have had a disagreement, or are upset by something, when their communication is faltering, the call-and-response remains as a reassurance, an anchor for you both that’s nurtured in good times to get you through the the wobble, to remind you how strong your connection is, that you both care.

It says “We’ve had a bad day, but I’m still here. I’m still yours.” After all, tomorrow is another day.

Routines don’t have quite the same power. Just because you say goodnight every night, if you say it in slightly different ways every night, then saying it isn’t a “you two” thing. But saying it as part of a ritual has the power of reassurance. A power that can be turned on its head by not observing the ritual.

There are many opportunities for Rituals n D/s. The names you use for each other, how you greet each other, how a girl submits and how a man accepts her submission. How you undress, how you bind your sub, whether you need permission from your Dom to come and how you ask…

Rituals are important, but have too many and like a church service it’s going to become dusty and staid. An unvarying relationship by numbers. So while one or two can perform the valuable role of a core foundation during times you’re apart, too many can become unthinking.

I often say in these blog posts “This is just my way, I’m not trying to say how it should be for you.” But on Rituals, I’d encourage you to let one or two evolve. Don’t force it. You’ll not know what’s become a Ritual until it slips. Once you know, nurture it.

© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On Need And Neediness

Need, good. Neediness bad. Right?

There’s a phrase which periodically does the rounds on twitter:

A sub needs to be wanted, a Dom wants to be needed.

How terribly manly: “I don’t need, I just want.” The D/s dynamic is all about the freedom to express need and have your needs recognised and fulfilled. I need. I don’t want to be needed – I don’t need to be needed in an abstract way. I need her to need me. Does that make me needy? I don’t think so, I think acknowledging that makes me honest. I think if I told her all the time I’d sound needy, so I don’t do that. But I don’t need to tell her all the time: She meets that need. I’ve told her about that need, so she knows. She doesn’t need me to tell her all the time, either. I show it in how I care for her.

In the same way, I know I’m needed. I know she needs me. She shows me she needs me in the way she depends on me, relies on me, leans on me for support and care every day, seeks my approval, my praise. She also tells me she needs me in a way I don’t tell her. But this is an expression of the asymmetry of the dynamic, part of the power exchange. It’s also part of her recognition of my need to hear it from time to time. And my need to always know her needs, and understand them better and better.

Is she ever needy? Yes. Why would anyone interpret that as bad? Neediness isn’t bad, it’s an expression of the depth of connection a sub has for her Dom and a recognition that she knows her Dom will understand and want to meet her needs.

So where does the idea that need is good and neediness bad come from?

At the risk of incurring vanilla wrath, I think it may come from the vanilla complaint “You’re so needy,” which is used by those who don’t feel a compulsion to ensure needs are met, those who would shirk their responsibility. It’s used to inhibit the expression of need for fear of being considered demanding. There’s a disturbing abusive control to it. A refusal to acknowledge that the ‘needy’ person is trying to express that their needs aren’t being met, a clear statement that their needs aren’t reasonable (but, oh, keep meeting mine).

In D/s we don’t need to engage in relationship power struggles of that nature. We recognise the power dynamic, the exchange. We recognise the impact on our demands and responsibilities. Accepting the responsibility to meet that demand is what a Dom does when he accepts a girl’s submission. Taking the demands and needs of a sub and making them his own is what a Dom does. If she’s needy, he feels a need to meet her needs. And not for any contractual reason, it’s not a chore (as the ‘you’re so needy’ accuser would feel), it’s a compulsion, a joy, a fulfilment for him. That’s a big part of what he brings to the relationship. Why would a sub offer herself to satisfy his needs if he doesn’t feel her needs as intently as she does, and isn’t driven to meet those needs with as much enthusiasm and without restriction?

The time I am needy is when I feel I’m not meeting her needs. I feel a deep urge to meet them, and if I can’t for whatever reason then yes, I get needy to do that. For her.

Originally on twitter

© Charles Rochester 2016